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Glitches in Automated Lane-Centering Systems Put Drivers at Risk

Inner view from a driver driving in the center of lane

Lane-centering safety systems often do not perform as advertised, placing drivers and other motorists at increased risk. This safety feature has been billed as revolutionary technology to help drivers avoid an accident. In reality, it can be counterproductive as motorists rely on an undependable system that raises the risk of a crash.

Lane Centering Could Increase Safety Risks

Numerous tests have shown deficiencies in lane-centering technology. Vehicles may end up too close to the cars in front of them or the guardrails. These problems have happened in both real-world and closed-course tests. As a result, there is a growing perception that lane-centering technology has a long way to go before more people use it. Drivers who rely on the technology frequently find themselves in a worse situation because of it.

Although many drivers simply disable the lane-centering feature, others end up in accidents because the technology led them directly into trouble. Lane-centering technology often takes over when drivers do not need it and can cause far more trouble than it avoids. In some cases, drivers are more than able to stay in their lane, but the system itself forces them into trouble. Some drivers reported that lane-centering took them out of their lane when they were already perfectly centered.

Lane Centering Can Be Dangerous on Turns

Tests have shown that lane-centering technology performs worse on roads with twists and turns. The system often cannot adapt to changing road conditions. The safety feature performs better on interstates with fewer curves and obstacles. Test results have shown that the problems happen more often on state highways and secondary roads. People sometimes use lane-centering technology for things like hills and intersections when owners’ manuals warn against this, perhaps because they are driving distracted.

While this technology is still new, and companies are taking steps to improve it, there are dangers to using it today. Drivers must remain alert and responsible behind the wheel, and they cannot “outsource” this obligation to technology to keep them out of danger. Relying on safety features is not generally an escape from liability when motorists cause an accident. At the same time, carmakers could also be legally responsible when a safety feature malfunctions and causes an accident. An auto accident attorney could help figure out who or what was responsible for a crash.

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